Sometimes life takes the wind out of your sails.
Our lovely black dog was run over on Wednesday and died.
We had friends over for dinner and our attention was not in her when she decided to take off for an adventure. Of course, we have done the what-ifs and the self-blame and the remorse but the reality is that it was an accident.
There is now a big, black dog-shaped hole in our lives and we are terribly sad. I know that we have been here before, both with pets and people and that we will feel better. But that does not really help.
I remember that during my training as a therapist, I came across the idea that, far from making us desensitised to death, every bereavement triggers the memory of all of our previous losses.
We need to sit with our sadness, allow it and not censor it.
My son spent almost all of yesterday inconsolable. Nothing I could say seemed to help. I talked of the fact that life is both good and bad, happy and sad. I spoke of rainbows and sunshine after rain.
But mostly I hugged and wiped tears and encouraged him to sleep.
Because sometimes what is needed is sleep and time. Sleep can certainly be the "balm of hurt minds" referred to in Shakespeare's Macbeth:
"Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast."
We'll get there, I know.
But the black dog is very much with us all for the time being.